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Writing an Introduction

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Nicole Stahly

on 17 September 2013

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Transcript of Writing an Introduction

Notes
Ideas
Ideas
Ideas
Writing an Introduction
Other ways to "hook" the reader
These 3 ideas are not the only ways to begin your essay. If none of these ideas will work well with your essay, see your teacher. They may have some other ideas.
Summary
In writing your introduction, always start by developing your claim. Without a good claim, the rest of the writing process will be pointless. After you have a solid claim, work backwards and decide how to begin your essay. There is no "right" way to start your introduction. Some ideas include using a question, a quotation, or a fact. If you have "writer's block," ask a teacher for help.
Everything you write in your essay should relate back to this claim.
Your claim should answer the writing prompt question, but shouldn't match it word-for-word.
Your claim is also called a thesis statement.
Before you start writing, you need to know what you're trying to say!
State your "claim"
The claim, or thesis statement, is usually the last sentence of the introduction paragraph.
Add a "hook"
The introduction should start with something interesting that "hooks" readers, making them want to read the rest of your essay. There are several different ways to "hook" readers.
Start with a question
Start with a question or a series of questions. Readers will expect that you will answer the question in the rest of the essay. This is an easy way to relate the topic to the reader's own life.
Start with a quote
Begin with an appropriate quotation. Make sure that the reader understands how it relates to the topic of your essay. If an appropriate quote isn't available, select a different method to start your essay.
Start with a fact
Begin with an interesting fact or statistic. Make sure this is powerful (not boring) and closely tied to your topic. A random or unimportant statistic might discourage readers from finishing your essay!
Example
Have you ever been treated a certain way because of your appearance? People of color who lived in the 1960's were discriminated against in countless ways. The Civil Rights movement may have changed the laws of the land, but wasn't able to change the hearts of all of the American people.
Example
"Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last." This famous line by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his 'I Have a Dream' speech was a statement of hope for the future of African Americans. His message of hope, as moving as it was to most, fell on deaf ears to some, particularly in the South. The Civil Rights movement may have changed the laws of the land, but wasn't able to change the hearts of all of the American people.
Example
From 1960-1966, African American voter registration in the state of Mississippi increased by almost 800%. During that same time, the KKK continued to perpetrate violent acts against African Americans in the state. The Civil Rights movement may have changed the laws of the land, but wasn't able to change the hearts of all of the American people.
Work Backwards
After you develop your claim, which is the last sentence of your introduction, you must work backwards and decide how to start your introduction.
Example
Writing prompt: Did the Civil Rights Movement significantly change life for African Americans in the 1960's?

Claim: The Civil Rights movement may have changed the laws of the land, but wasn't able to change the hearts of all of the American people.
Full transcript